Songs TikTok Made Popular Again

From Renegade to Lemonade, over the past twelve months, TikTok has treated us to a delightful helping of moreish soundbites. In a moment’s break from the equally addictive app, Izzy Felton takes us through some of the wistful throwbacks that were catapulted back into the mainstream.

There’s no denying that TikTok has had a successful run this past year, bragging roughly a billion monthly active users who each spend an estimated fifty-four minutes a day on the app. To many, the first lockdown back in March is now merely a haze of TikTok trends and dance routines. So there’s no surprise that countless artists have attempted to use the platform, which has an algorithm that gives any user the chance to go viral, to get their music out there.

Even Nottingham’s very own Blondes found success on TikTok late last year with their single Coming of Age. However, it’s not just up-and-coming musicians that have benefitted from the TikTok sensation. From some of music’s greatest hits to obscure 2000s indie tracks, here’s a run-down of some of the weird and wonderful throwbacks that have taken over your TikTok ‘for you’ page:


Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

Made popular by TikTok user 420doggface208, Dreams went viral after he uploaded a video longboarding and drinking cranberry juice. The video led to follow-up clips of people also drinking cranberry juice and listening to the 70s anthem. Even Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood got in on the action, posting similar videos on their TikTok accounts. However this week it was revealed that Stevie Nicks refused to allow Nathan Apodaca (420doggface208) to use the song in an NFT auction of the original clip. Once again copyright kills the magic of viral videos. 


Mayonaka no Door/ Stay With Me – Miki Matsubara

Miki Matsubara’s Mayonaka no Door/ Stay With Me went viral through a trend where kids filmed their mums, who grew up in 80s Japan, reacting to the song. Released in 1979, the song was part of a genre called ‘city pop’ which was extremely popular in Japan at the time. In more recent years there has been an increased interest in the genre within Western countries, ultimately leading to its popularity on TikTok. It’s virtually impossible to not dance to, so naturally a favourite on the platform.

Babooshka – Kate Bush

For this one, you have to channel your inner witch. Wuthering Heights legend Kate Bush found herself stumbling onto the alternative side of TikTok, in particular (and rightfully so) WitchTok, with Babooshka. Despite only peaking at number five in the UK charts, Babooshka has inspired a multitude of videos on TikTok of women dancing around in floaty dresses, showing off crystal collections and collages of gothic houses. However, we’ll be waiting a lifetime before we get a video from the infamously private singer, showing off her tarot cards. 


Just the Two of Us – Grover Washington ft. Bill Withers

With over 700,000 TikToks made featuring this 1980s classic, Just the Two of Us rightfully deserves a place on this list. The song, a collaboration between two musical legends, jazz saxophonist Grover Washington and soul singer Bill Withers, was a big hit before its popularity grew on the social media platform. But now the iconic love song has been embraced by the Zoomer generation, filling everyone’s for you page with wholesome content of pets, newborn babies and loved-up couples. A personal favourite is a clip of a man bringing food home for his pet rabbit. 

I’m Just a Kid – Simple Plan

Canadian pop-punk band, Simple Plan are another example of TikTok’s powerful influence after their song I’m Just a Kid blew up on the app. The track went viral during the first lockdown through a trend of recreating childhood photos. The band have ridden the wave of success, starting up their own TikTok account where they too joined in on the trend. The song, which has since been certified platinum eighteen years after its initial release, currently features on over three million TikTok videos.

How Bizarre – OMC

How Bizarre has become quite the meme, with almost half-a-million TikTok videos featuring the song. OMC was already considered a one-hit-wonder, reaching number one in New Zealand, Australia and the US in 1995 with the track. This time around, the song is accompanied by videos where users reveal odd secrets about themselves. This one has a sad ending, however. While other band members have taken to TikTok to show their disbelief at going viral, the main man behind the song, Pauly Fuemana, sadly passed away in 2010. Let’s call this one an ode to one of New Zealand’s pioneering hip-hop artists. 

O My Heart – Mother Mother

The craziest viral throwback has to go to Mother Mother; a Vancouver indie band with three songs exploding on TikTok all from their album O My Heart (2008). The record didn’t even chart when it was initially released back in 2008, but three songs, Arms Tonite, Hayloft and Burning Pile have amassed millions of Spotify streams and a combined one-and-a-half-million unique TikTok videos. The virality of their music has even probed the band to work on a new record, not long after deciding to finish making music together. Mother Mother are a true example of the power of social media. If you’re a musician in 2021, it would be silly not to get yourself on TikTok.

Written by: Izzy Felton

Edited by: Olivia Stock

Featured image courtesy of Grover Now via Facebook. In-article image courtesy of Clash Magazine via Facebook. In-article image courtesy of Mother Mother via Facebook.